happy birthday america.

[you have to love when a holiday falls on the middle of your week].

happy birthday america. you’re a great place to live. & I’m happy to call you home.

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when a holiday rolls around, my go to question: what did I do last year?

well …

[J] & I walked right outside our apartment door. and sat our happy butts right down on the boardwalk, for a spectacular view of the macy’s fireworks display. and the empire state building suited up in its red, white, & blue glory.

[we don’t commonly drink “bud heavy,” but on the 4th, how can you turn down american flag cans? you can’t!]

[on the “jersey side”]

we had an amazing view. that now makes for amazing memories.

now to 2012 …

we WILL be seeing fireworks tonight [somewhere]. unfortunately, they might be us lighting our own sparklers in the backyard. [damn the drought]. but yesterday, we had a preliminary celebration: riding bikes & beachin’ in chicago.

it was great [& scorchin’].

[we rented bikes. & went cruisin’]

[& tried to cool off with popsicles at the beach ..I was turning into a lobster].

boys being boys :)

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no matter what you do to celebrate today … enjoy yourselves. wear patriotic colors. remember why we’re celebrating.

[and stay cool].

what to bring to a cookout?

especially when the hosts say “don’t bring anything“.

I apologize, but as an invited guest to your cookout: I refuse to come empty handed.

but when this situation would arise, I’d be stumped on what to not bring.

the problem exists no longer.

firstly.. a nice, summery cocktail.

my pick: sangria.

I love using this bottled sangria. made by a favorite winery of mine: galena cellars.

just slice up some of these …

add to a pitcher of the sangria. let them magically become one in the fridge for an hour. and viola: deliciousness.

I’m a drink & dessert kind of girl.

so, the obvious next choice: cheesecake stuffed strawberries.

they are amazing magical.

[J] was eating them like pringles.

[once you pop, the fun don’t stop]

the ingredients: strawberries, cream cheese, powdered sugar, graham crackers, & vanilla extract.

hollow out the strawberries. like so :)

when you are finished, they will look like this [for a brief second, before they are devoured]:

[here is the full recipe: on iowa girl eats].

there you have it.

a summery cocktail + a fruity, decadent dessert = a happy host.

start prepping now, tomorrow is the fourth of july.

[bring on the red, white, & blue clothes I save all year long for this one day].

see ya back here tomorrow :)

the week in photos.

happy one day left in JUNE.

[reminder: on sunday, the month of july will begin].

is it just me or is this summer flying by?

[I think it is now safe to say: it’s not just when you’re in school, living the dream during ‘summer vacay’ that it flies by …it happens when you’re “old” too].

shucks.

today is the week in illustrations.

WELL, unfortunately I took a total of two photographs the entire week. [they’re not even magnificent good]. I was busy getting back into the groove after my week in Iowa. but here we go:

[J] enjoyed a nice lunch outside …in the shade.

[those fries said “perfect size for two“.. we decided they were the perfect size for two … armies].

we also went to our “HOME” [aka the storage unit with all of our belongings] and I found my harry potter/where’s waldo glasses. they are a prized possession. [J] was ecstatic to see them again. [not].

and:

here is a photo [J] took while we were in Iowa, that he decided to share with me today..

well everyone:

whether your weekend plans involve …

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enjoy yourself.

have a goodbye june/hello july fiesta.

I will see you on monday.